The Sims 2: Castaway review
A Breakthrough from Platform Failure
Since the Sims was released on the PC it has seemed as if Maxis thought the series would be just as innovative on Platforms, but up until Sims 2: Castaway they have been wrong. What most Sims games not for the PC have done is given us boring plots or other nonsense that is simply enhanced on the PC versions, but Sims 2: Castaway might be a break from that.
In Sims 2: Castaway you take the role of either a castaway, or a group of castaways, who's ship has been torn apart at see by dangerous weather, you then must live on an uncharted island and survive using the islands natural resources. The game starts with you being able to create up to 6 sims (sims refers to the people of the game). Now the creation in the beginning of the game isn't all that spectacular. You will be given the option of choosing the type of person your sim is; this could be a cook, mechanic, doctor, etc. These choices will influences your character later on when the crew meets up. Along with that you will be able to dress your sims and choose their traits. The clothing options at this point are very slim, but they will increase ten-fold later on.
At the start of the game you will find yourself marooned on an uninhabited island alone. The game will introduce to you your life stats. Your life stats include sleep, hygiene, hunger, etc. The usual attributes found in sims games. You will have to keep these bars up or your sim will not respond to your commands correctly. Th game will also introduce to you early on how to collect resources. Collecting resources seems to be the only main problem with the game. This feature can become tedious and you will find yourself collecting these materials for about 60% of the game. With these materials you can cook or create shelters, clothing, toys, and other basic items you might need. To collect materials you simply go up to the resource and collect the item, but certain items will require tools. The main example of this is fishing, you can create harpoons, fishing poles, and cages to collect fish.
The main goal of the game is to escape the island, but there is a large amount of other goals you can complete to unlock the ability to make new shelters, clothing, and the like. As you find new islands you will also meet up with members of your crew, if you had any, and you can form a tribe. As a tribe you can give members of the group jobs to do such as collecting materials, which lessens the amount of work you must do.
Many Sims games for platforms (newer and older generations) have tended to have bright, but fitting, graphics, but Sims 2: Castaway takes a different direction to really capture the Island look. Characters seem to be appear less detailed mainly in the facial area, but actually the "sims look" is still there, just behind the well designed island clothing and raggy castaway hair. The landscapes are also very lush and you will rarely find an area without something to look at. Even on the edges of a volcano you can find palm trees full of coconuts and flowers ready to be picked.
As for audio, the game has taken yet another turn for the better. Much of th audio in past games was remade to fit games, but were really still the "same old sim" songs, but in Sims 2: Castaway you are given the gift of being able to listen to some island themed songs. Most games in the sims series have monotonous songs you grow to hate, but the music in Castaway just becomes better as you find new caves and ruins to explore. And don't forget about the sim-language you grew to love because its mixed in there too.
The game does have some very intriguing parts and will keep you busy for around 6-8 hours if you have the goal of collecting all materials, fish, and whatnot. One of the biggest reasons you might want to purchase this game is because its a step forward for Sims platform games not for the PC. The game actually has goals and quests you can complete to keep you busy and talking to monkeys can be quite fun. Its a must buy for anyone who loves the sims formula, just with a twist.
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